Artist Snapshot: Scott Sutton
“Playing live, at its best is a spiritual rush! When a band connects, it’s like my eyes are closed, and I’ve gone to Pluto and back. When the song is over and I open my eyes, it’s like, whoa, what just happened, where am I?”
The joy that Scott Sutton brings to the stage is infectious as he lays down a steady bed of bass beats he has acquired over years of playing with a wide range of bands and genres.
“I got into music because of young love. At 10, my Dad had bought me a Sears acoustic guitar, but I just couldn’t do anything with it. Then I found out the little blonde girl who I had the worst puppy love crush on was taking guitar lessons from our music teacher before class. The whole reason I started playing guitar was just to see her, and maybe get to sit next to her during guitar lessons!”
Sutton has come a long way since Mrs. Manning’s music class! Through the years he’s played electric lead, rhythm guitar, and bass, for a range of bands, including The Mistakes, Suspex, NSF, Andy Hollander band, Wailing Slim and the Sofa Kings, Sparks Will Fly and Dirty Rumors. He currently plays electric bass with Groova Scape and MC Broom and the Jam.
While puppy love can be a strong motivator for a number of things, Sutton had some practical advice for up and coming musicians, “Learn the basic cowboy chords from a Mel Bay book, get a teacher, practice an hour a day, and learn to play a song you really like! Let that music bug bite you deep and become a part of your soul. Then play with as many people as you can, and NEVER say no to trying something new.”
In a recent interview, Sutton recalled a favorite performance that always sticks with him. “In 1980, my New wave punk band, The Mistakes, opened for the Producers, at the legendary Agora Ballroom in Atlanta GA. The Ballroom was then booking acts like REM, Prince, and The Ramones, and there we were, not even old enough to legally come through front door of the club. It was the most exciting show I’ve ever played!”
Sutton has been playing in the Roanoke scene for years and has watched and helped it grow. “I’m so proud of the numerous musicians in Roanoke. They are serious about what they are doing, writing and recording, opening recording studios, and immersing themselves in all aspects of the scene. I am grateful for all the old and new venue owners who support live music and give us a place to do our thing!”
You can witness Sutton do his thing and perhaps transport “to Pluto and back” with Groova Scape this Saturday at 3:00pm in Elmwood Park for the Defend the Sacred: A Celebration of Life, Land, and Water event.